I was really excited to see State of California launch their check your number campaign – raising driver awareness that you don’t need to change engine oil every 3,000 miles! The campaign
“… urges Californians to check the recommended oil change interval for their car in their owner’s manual. They’ll likely save time and money in service costs and do the environment a big favor — without hurting their car or compromising auto performance in the least.
The old standard of 3,000 miles is woefully out of date and no longer applies to most cars. Many cars, even older models, can be driven up to 5,000, 7,500, 10,000, and even 15,000 miles before needing an oil change.”
This is one of those win-win propositions – it’s actually more convenient for the driver (less maintenance related chores), save you money, and also greatly helps the environment!
“Drivers can do their part to help the environment by simply looking up the recommended oil change intervals for their cars and changing their habits accordingly. Advances in modern engines and improved oil formulas have made the 3,000-mile oil change obsolete. Under normal driving conditions, cutting back to the automaker’s recommended intervals will not affect your car’s engine, its performance, or your warranty.”
I have always been a vocal proponent of this, and I am glad to hear the state bringing it up! Don’t listen to what the oil change shops are telling you, ignore that 3,000 mile reminder sticker on your window (i just peel them and throw them away), and simply follow the owners manual. For most cars, a light will come on or blink when you need the oil change, so you don’t even have to think about it.
It’s my personal opinion that most folks could wait even longer between oil changes – but you don’t want to risk putting any warranties at risk. As a Mechanical Engineering professor specializing in engine testing once said – the most important thing for your engine is that there is oil! (if it’s a lil’ old, it’s not a big deal.)
As a side note, I wish I still had access to all the cool lab testing equipment as I used to. The reason you change the oil is that with age and cycling (use) it slowly decays and its properties decline – which is something I could easily test for. I am assuming that your filter is doing it’s job, and there isn’t much gunk flowing around.
So, save some $$$, relax, and save the environment too! Check your number!